Forbes' Best Small Biz Blogs
Hunting around the 37Signals blog archives, I found this in a link from just about a year ago:

Forbes' Best Small Biz Blogs
What's the Point of Blogging?
What's the Point?

I was at a meeting of freelance writers and editors earlier this month and one of the attendees posed this question to the group: "What's the point of having a blog?"
The asker lamented the sad state of blogs, calling them rambling instant soapboxes for anyone who can sign up for a free account. Why would anyone want to waste their time writing, let alone reading, blogs?

The Short Answer: Marketing

When it came my turn to answer, I ran down a list of a few things that I have learned about blogging and how they are excellent marketing tools, not only for those of us who work in the writing business, but for anyone who has skills and talent that they wish to market.

Five Answers to "What's the Point of Writing a Blog?"

Answer 1: Your blog can be one of the seven needed points of contact that potential clients can touch when learning more about you. You got your card, your sign, your ad, your website landing page, your phone call, your face-to-face, your blog...that's seven, isn't it?
Answer 2: To establish you as an expert in your field, building credibility through the simple fact that you can write intelligently about what you know.
Answer 3: Networking! People read your stuff and can quickly and easily establish a dialogue with you.
Answer 4: To put yourself in line for a big break! Get your unique idea, your clever thought, your new meme out into the information stream and be prepared to take advantage of your 15 minutes of fame. Start a movement with a single blog entry. Which leads me to the next answer...
Answer 5: To Get Googled. The Internet is becoming the primary information gathering resource for anyone looking for anything. Make it easy for people who are looking for you to find you. Google likes blogs, and a well-phrased article title will put you at the top of long results list.

On a related note...

This is a good article from the Boston Globe. It's an interesting piece that makes the bold claim that blogs are rapidly becoming a necessity for a successful career.
Via A New Marketing Commentator
3 Ways to Establish Credibility with a Business Blog
A high-priority goal when initiating a relationship with a prospect is the establishment of your credibility. Without credibility, it's nearly impossible to move past the first stage. You need to demonstrate that you know what you're talking about, that you're trustworthy, knowledgable, and that you'll be able to solve problems.

Being able to write well about a topic is a good way to demonstrate your knowledge and bring your own unique perspective forward.

A blog is a cheap (or even free) of getting your voice heard, and one of the great advantages of blogging is the way that they play very well with search engines, so anyone popping a searchword into Google stands a good chance of bringing up your blog and reading what you have to say.

They say write about what you know, so get out there and put your unique selling points out there in your own voice.

3 Techniques to establish your credibility with a blog

  1. Write about what interests you in your field. Enthusiasm is infectious. If you're passionate about what you do, it'll come through in what you write and add to your credibility.

  2. Write commentary about the industry. Demonstrate your expertise by providing your expert opinion.

  3. Provide useful information for your readers. Ideally, it's information that will lead your customers to realize that the service you offer is valuable and meets a need or solves a problem.

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